Thursday, April 16, 2015

Vassar's Victims

I'm just going to roll right by this on my way home:

"Vassar ruling highlights sex-assault reporting questions" by Larry Neumeister Associated Press  April 16, 2015

NEW YORK — After a night of heavy drinking and sex in 2012, two Vassar College students traded Facebook messages suggesting the encounter was consensual. ‘‘I’m really sorry I led you on,’’ the woman wrote, adding, ‘‘I had a wonderful time last night.’’

A year later, the woman went to Vassar officials and filed a sexual assault claim against the man, resulting in his expulsion for violating school rules that banned sexual intercourse without consent.

A federal judge in Manhattan recently backed the college’s decision, in the latest in a series of sometimes-conflicting rulings stemming from disciplinary actions taken by colleges after reports of sexual abuse made by women seeking justice through school proceedings rather than the public law enforcement process and its proof-beyond-doubt standard.

The March 31 ruling by US District Judge Ronnie Abrams in a discrimination lawsuit brought by former honors student Xiaolu ‘‘Peter’’ Yu clashes with those by federal judges elsewhere who ruled at least partially against schools, questioning whether they were fair.

Courts are increasingly involved in disputes over sex on campuses after the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in 2011 reminded colleges to judge cases under Title IX using the standard of ‘‘preponderance of evidence,’’ meaning schools must conclude there is a better than 50-50 chance the accused is to blame to find the person responsible.

I see this as the government's attempt to regulate sexual behavior, much like the Nazis did.

Since the directive, the number of complaints about the handling of sexual assault claims at the nation’s 7,400 higher education schools went from 17 in early 2012 to 102 last year, said Catherine Lhamon, the federal Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights.

‘‘The volume of increase astounds us today and well exceeds our expectation,’’ Lhamon said. She said the growth likely stemmed from the national conversation occurring over what is acceptable on campuses.

Civil libertarians say the new guidance undermines the rights of the accused, as school panels with little training make decisions based on scant or one-sided evidence, but others see a real effort by schools.

Schools trying to balance the rights of victims and the accused are increasingly hiring lawyers to investigate sexual assault allegations, said Brett Sokolow, managing partner of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management. His firm represents 72 institutions and has trained more than 5,000 school administrators on Title IX issues.

More than 50 court cases are pending nationwide, he said.

Yu sued Vassar in 2013, saying the liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, north of New York City, acted unfairly and discriminated against him because he is a man. If both parties were intoxicated, he said, then Vassar discriminates against men by only considering the intoxication and incapacitation of women and by giving preferential treatment to the complainant.

Maybe the solution is not drinking.

The judge said she needed to decide only that Vassar did not violate state or federal laws against gender discrimination.

The female student — the daughter of a longtime Vassar professor — did not seek criminal charges against Yu, a Chinese citizen who has lived in the United States since 2008. Instead, she filed a complaint with the school saying she had been sexually assaulted by him.

Yu had said the female student agreed to have sex with him after they consumed alcohol at a rowing team party and later at a campus social venue, the judge said.

The judge wrote that the woman’s version was ‘‘very different,’’ and that she said in a statement she either said nothing or ‘‘no’’ when Yu asked her to go to his room. She remembered ‘‘feeling helpless,” as if she “couldn’t talk’’ and ‘‘had to do whatever he said,’’ the judge wrote. The female student also said she tried to push Yu off but was unable to do so.

The next day, Yu sent the woman a Facebook message checking on her. ‘‘I was really drunk last night and I feel maybe I was way too forward. I’d be more shy if I was more sober,’’ he wrote, according to the evidence. The woman replied: ‘‘Peter, I was really drunk as well, don’t worry.’’

She added later in the message: ‘‘I’m really sorry I led you on last night. . . I don’t think any less of you at all. I had a wonderful time last night.’’

Andrew Miltenberg, an attorney for Yu, said his client, now 21, is enrolled at another school with a lesser reputation than Vassar. He said they will appeal the judge’s ruling.

Who gives a fuck?


So you wanna go clubbing, or.... ???